Ashton Kutcher has delivered a passionate speech against child trafficking at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing.
Kutcher choked up as he discussed his work as the co-founder of Thorn, an organisation that drives tech innovation to help to locate victims of modern slavery and sex trafficking, and described some of his own experiences witnessing the horrors of the trade.
"I've seen video content of a child that is the same age as mine being raped by an American man," Kutcher said, tearing up. "She thought she was engaging in play."
“I've been on the other end of a phone call from my team, asking for my help because we had received a call from the Department of Homeland Security telling us that a seven-year-old girl was being sexually abused and that content was being spread around the dark web,” he said.
“We were the last line of defence; an actor and his foundation were the potential last line of defence. That's my day job, and I'm sticking to it."
According to Kutcher, Thorn has created technology that can help law enforcement to identify victims more quickly, narrowing down investigations on the “dark web” from three years to three weeks. His speech was a plea to Congress to approve further funding for software products like his own that can help further combat modern slavery. “Technology can be used to enable slavery, but it can also be used to disable slavery,” Kutcher said.
Ashton and wife Mila Kunis have two children, daughter Wyatt, 2, and baby son, Dimitri, 2 months.
Senator John McCain managed to inject some light-hearted humour to the emotional moment by joking, "Ashton, you were better looking in the movies," prompting Kutcher to smile and blow him a kiss.
Watch the full 16 minute speech below.